We Are Not the MBTI

The MBTI personality test, short for Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, is known around the world. But popularity doesn’t mean a test is effective, and not all tests are alike. Learn why.

A lone duck swims on a lake in dreary overcast weather. The distinction between two dramatically different types of birds, ducks and hummingbirds, signifies the distinction between personality tests with less evidence of validity and reliability, such as the MBTI or Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and those that are proven to be useful in talent acquisition and development, such as the Hogan personality assessments.

What is Personality? Identity Versus Reputation

What is Personality?

Almost everyone acknowledges the importance of personality in distinguishing people from one another and making judgments about others. For example, when selecting a romantic partner, our research shows that 79% of men and 84% of women cite personality as their primary consideration. But what is personality, exactly? On a basic level, we can say it is a person’s disposition or core wiring and the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that stem from it.

Most of us believe that we are intimately aware of our own personalities, but this belief is only partially true. Indeed, we areexperts on our personalities from an inside view, which can be defined as identity. Our identities are formed by the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, and as with any good story, we tend to bend the truth. In the case of identity, the story is often overoptimistic.  

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